14/06/2009

A "Peaceful Protest" in Iran?

I don't know enough about Iranian politics to be able to judge the veracity of Hilary Clinton's worries that the Iranian election was fixed. Welsh language blogger Cai Larsen claims that Western Powers build up a case for pro Western candidates and then get upset when common voters don't vote in accordance with Western hype. He may be right, he may be wrong. I don't know.

What I do know, however, having just watched a BBC World News report on protests against the election result is that the BBC is very inconsistent in its reporting style about pro western protests in Iran and anti western protests in Britain.

A few weeks ago a dozen, or so, Islamists protested during a military parade in Luton. They shouted abusive slogans at the soldiers and held up abusive placards. Their protest was described as offensive, appalling, disgraceful, extremist, abusive, incitive etc. I agree with all of those adjectives. As offensive as I found their protest there is little doubt that the protest was within the bounds of what might be called the British tradition of peaceful protest. But you won't find that word peaceful in any Western report covering the demo.

During the BBC's report on the Iranian protests, however, the term peaceful protest was used four times in a 60 second item. Whilst the term was being used pictures were being shown of thousands people running riot in the street, stones being thrown, vehicles being burned and soldiers and policemen being physically attacked.

If Mrs Clinton's claim of vote rigging is true one can argue that the protests are justified. Given the claimed circumstances one can even say that the protest was restrained, but what you can't say once, never mind four times, is that it was peaceful.

What I find unacceptable in the BBC's reporting is that it doesn't see the danger of the duplicity of its reportage. You can't get away from the fact that calling 12 people shouting extreme, and calling thousands rioting peaceful is inconsistent to say the least.

This form of stupid reporting by the BBC, and others, just plays into the hands of those who want to recruit faithful young British Muslims into the extremist Islamist cause by claiming that the West is clearly anti-Muslim and two faced when it comes to reporting stories about Muslims in different continents!

Cymraeg

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